Background: Renal-cell carcinoma (RCC) is a rare tumor in children. To address whether RCC in children differs from its adult counterpart, we report a series of 16 children with RCC (5 boys, 11 girls, mean age 9.6 years, range 3-19 years) presenting between 1979 and 1996 at three pediatric centers.
Procedure: Pathology showed papillary RCC in five patients (31%). Nonpapillary tumors were present in 11 (69%), of which nine were clear-cell type (56%), one was chromophobe-cell type (6%), and one was granular-cell type (6%). Cytogenetic studies were performed on four.
Results: In two tumors, normal karyotypes (45,XX or 45,XY) were found. In another, there were translocations: t(X;1), t(X;2) and t(6;14). In the fourth, analysis revealed 46,XX/46,X,t(X;17)(p11.2;q25),t(1;12). Several features in this series differ from those reported in adults. In adults, RCC is more frequent in males, is usually nonpapillary, and is characterized cytogenetically by deletions or rearrangements in the short arm of chromosome 3. In contrast, in our series there was no male predominance and a higher proportion of papillary tumors. In addition, two of four cytogenetically analyzed tumors had translocations involving the X chromosome. Translocations involving the Xp11.2 locus have been infrequently reported in both adults and children with papillary RCC.
Conclusions: The higher frequency of papillary histology and the presence of translocations involving Xp.11.2 in two cases raise the possibility of a unique subtype of RCC in children.